President Hassan Rouhani of Iran appealed to the International Monetary Fund Wednesday to approve a $5 billion emergency loan request to combat its novel coronavirus outbreak.
“I urge all international organisations to fulfil their duties,” Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting.
“We are a member of the IMF… if there’s going to be any discrimination between Iran and others in giving loans, neither us nor world opinion will tolerate it,” he said in televised remarks.
Iran announced on March 12 that it had requested the loan from the IMF to help fight what was then one of the world’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks.
Iran has not received assistance from the IMF since a “standby credit” issued between 1960 and 1962, according to IMF figures.
According to the IMF’s website, a Rapid Financial Instrument “is available to all member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need”.
I want to remind the international community of their duties in this pandemic crisis. We are a member of the International Monetary Fund (#IMF) and World Bank. It is unacceptable to discriminate between different nations, both for us and the global public opinion. #COVID19
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) April 8, 2020
Iran says it has confirmed more than 62,500 coronavirus infections and more than 3,800 deaths.
But there has been speculation abroad that the real number of deaths and infections could be higher.
“If they do not act on their duties in this difficult situation, the world will judge them in a different way,” Rouhani said.
For almost two years, Iranian leaders have vowed to resist the “economic war” the US is waging against their country as American sanctions have strangled the Islamic republic’s economy ever tighter.
Read more: How fluctuation in virus-hit Asian markets is keeping traders on edge?
President Hassan Rouhani even suggested that the mission had been accomplished when he addressed the nation in February.
“Never in our history have we experienced an economy without oil,” Mr Rouhani said with an undisguised hint of pride. “We have come to realise we can govern without oil.”
His message was clear: a nation with some of the planet’s largest crude and gas reserves had been forced to break its addiction to oil. And it had survived.
Given the present economic stagnation of Iran, the country has requested IMF to bail iit out so that they can recover the losses inflicted by the coronavirus epidemic.
AFP with additional input from GVS News Desk.